Why do some patients with hard-to-treat or recurrent cancers respond to novel therapies? There is no “standard of care” for recurrent or refractory cancers, and oncologists are faced with making new treatment decisions when previous treatments have failed. Additional data can be gleaned from genetic tests and tumor biopsies; however, interpretation of the molecular signatures and assessment of the current adaptive state of the tumor require specialized biomedical expertise.

At the Big Data in Biomedicine Conference at Stanford Medicine in May 2015, Mary F. McGuire PhD, presented learnings from three “exceptional responders” whose molecular profiles offered insights into why their treatments worked. The profiles were generated with data from morphoproteomic immunohistochemistry, a method that identifies specific active signaling proteins in the tumor, and augmented with their biological pathways, inferred from computational biomedical analytics. Case studies demonstrate proof-of-concept of this integrative molecular pathology/analytics approach that supports personalized medical decision making for recurrent or hard-to-treat cancers.

Now, meet one of our exceptional responders, Melissa Weiss.Melissa_Small